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Transferring a domain to Squarespace

If you purchased a domain from a third-party provider, you can transfer it to Squarespace. When you transfer your domain, you can manage all of your domain settings and billing from your Squarespace account. This guide reviews how to transfer a domain registered elsewhere to Squarespace.

You can transfer the domain to a trial site, a paid site, or if you don’t have a site yet, you can start with a domain transfer.

For common questions and answers, visit Domain transfers FAQ. If you're trying to move a Squarespace Domain to a different Squarespace site, see Moving a domain between sites.

Before you begin

Tip: The step numbers in this guide (and our provider-specific guides) intentionally don't match the step numbers shown in each window of the transfer process in Squarespace. If you're referring to step numbers while troubleshooting with Customer Support, let us know whether you're looking at this guide or your site.

Timing

Domain transfer speed depends on your current domain provider. Some domains transfer within one day, while others can take closer to 15 days to complete. To learn more, visit Domain transfer timing.

Pricing and billing

Here's how much it costs to transfer a domain to Squarespace and how registration works:

  • Pricing is based on the TLD, from $20 to $70.
  • To complete the transfer, you'll pay for one year of domain registration.
  • There's no extra fee for the transfer itself.
  • You'll keep the time remaining on your registration on top of the extra year you'll register through us.
  • If you're eligible, the additional year of registration could be free.
  • Your domain will renew at the same price at the end of its registration term.
  • Your domain includes free WHOIS Privacy and SSL.

For more details, see our FAQ.

Transfer requirements

Before getting started, ensure your domain is eligible for transfer. If you’re not sure if your domain meets these rules, check with your current registrar.

  • The domain’s TLD must be on our supported TLD list.
  • We don’t support registry premium domains.
  • Sixty days must have elapsed since you registered or transferred the domain with your current provider.
  • Your domain must be active with your current provider. If your domain is past due, or might expire during the transfer, ask your provider if it's eligible for transfer before starting the process.
  • You’ll need to unlock your domain to transfer it.
  • We don’t accept domains with current registration terms longer than nine years.
  • You can't transfer a domain that has the word "squarespace" or "sqsp" in it.

If your domain doesn't meet these requirements, you can try connecting it to your site instead.

Provider-specific guides

Instead of following the general instructions on this page, you can use one of these step-by-step guides for transferring domains from the following providers:

Moving email records

If you have a custom email address linked to your domain, you can transfer your MX records to Squarespace along with your domain. Your MX records keep your email hosted with your current email provider.

Before transferring your domain to Squarespace, we recommend contacting your current email provider to ensure that there won’t be any restrictions or issues by moving to Squarespace. Some providers require keeping your domain hosted with them to keep your email account active. You may also want to back up any essential emails, contacts, or settings you may need.

See Step 4 for more information on transferring DNS settings.

Step 1 - Unlock your domain

Follow your current provider’s instructions to unlock your domain and make it available for transfer. Your domain can’t be transferred while it’s locked.

Step 2 - Get the authorization code

Get the authorization code from your provider. This may also be called an “EPP code” or “transfer key.” You might find this in your provider’s settings, or they might email it. Some providers may need a day or two to generate this code, so we recommend requesting it as soon as you’ve unlocked your domain.

You’ll enter this code during the transfer process, so ensure you have access to it, or copy and paste it in a secure place.

Step 3 - Start the transfer and enter the authorization code

Begin the transfer process in your Squarespace site’s Domains panel:

  1. Confirm that you’re logged into the correct Squarespace site.  
  2. In the Home Menu, click Settings, then click Domains.
  3. Click Use a domain I own.
  4. Enter the full domain name you’re transferring in the Domain Name field, then click Continue.
  5. Click Transfer to Squarespace.
  6. A window will open, reminding you of the transfer requirements. Review the information and ensure your domain is ready to transfer. If you see an error message and you've already prepared the domain for transfer, contact your current domain provider for help.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. In the Enter Authorization Code field, paste the authorization code, then click Continue.

Step 4 - Review DNS settings

In the next window, confirm the DNS records to move to Squarespace. To minimize any downtime, we recommend keeping them all toggled to ON. Any options toggled to OFF must be managed manually.

  • Point to Squarespace - Change CNAME and A records to point the domain to Squarespace.
  • Keep Other DNS Records - Keep other DNS records intact, like MX records for email. Click View records to review the current DNS settings.
  • Move Nameservers to Squarespace - Move the domain's nameservers to Squarespace. If you toggle this option off, it’s not possible to move DNS records to Squarespace. 

If all settings look correct, click Continue.

Step 5 - Review and confirm registration details

In the next window, confirm the domain’s registration details. Ensure that the address shown in the Email Address field is correct, as this is how we’ll notify you that your transfer is complete.

These fields automatically populate with information we detect from your WHOIS records with your original registrar. For help formatting these fields, visit Domain contact information.

When everything looks correct and all required fields are complete, click Continue. If you’ve added any new data, your WHOIS records will update when your transfer is complete. This won't disrupt the transfer process, but will ensure all contact records are correct when they move to Squarespace.

Step 6 - Confirm registration terms and billing

Note: If your site is on a trial, you'll be prompted to enter your payment information before this step.

By transferring your domain to Squarespace, you’ll be charged for one additional year of domain registration with Squarespace. Pricing is based on your domain’s TLD and may be free if you’re eligible.

To confirm the transfer:

  1. Confirm the credit card on file.
  2. Confirm the total charge for one year of domain registration.
  3. Review the terms in the white box, including your domain’s new expiration date.
  4. If everything looks correct, click Transfer.
  5. You'll see a message confirming you've initiated the transfer. Click Okay to return to your Domains panel.

Step 7 - Check the transfer status and fix issues

Next, return to the Domains panel to confirm the transfer is in progress. If there's an issue with the domain, an error message will display.

To check the status of your transfer:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, then click Domains. You'll see a "Transfer pending" message under your domain.
  2. Click your domain, then click Refresh to see the current status.

Transfer status error messages

If your domain displays an error message, you can clear it depending on the message:

  • Domain is locked - This message displays if the domain is locked, which blocks the transfer. To fix the issue, log into your domain provider and unlock the domain. After unlocking the domain, this message will clear.
  • Authorization code needed - This message displays if your domain provider rejected the authorization code you entered in Step 3. To fix the issue, ensure the authorization code is correct, enter it in the error message's text field, then click Submit. We suggest copying and pasting the code for accuracy. After entering the correct authorization code, this message will clear.

Step 8 - Wait for the transfer to complete

The transfer needs time to process. Your previous provider should release the domain to Squarespace. If your domain transfer is still pending after 15 days, and you’ve correctly followed all steps above, contact your provider for more details. This timing is out of Squarespace’s control.

While your transfer is in progress, we don't recommend changing your DNS settings or adding a G Suite email account. Wait until your domain is fully transferred before adding any new integrations.

When the domain is fully transferred, you'll receive a "Thank you" email from customercare@squarespace.com, and the domain will appear in the Domains panel with a green label.

Troubleshooting failed transfers

If your domain fails to transfer, you’ll get an email from Squarespace. This can happen if you entered wrong information in the registration field, entered the authorization code incorrectly, or for other reasons. For a full list of scenarios, see our FAQ.

Tips

Cancel or remove the transfer

If your domain transfer is pending, you may be able to cancel it:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain that's pending transfer.
  3. Click Cancel transfer.
  4. Confirm the cancellation.

If your Domains panel still lists the domain as Transfer In Progress, ask your current provider to deny it. This may or may not be possible, and depends on whether the current provider has already approved and released the domain.

If the transfer failed and you need to try again, you can remove the current transfer before starting over. While this step isn't necessary, you may find it easier to keep track of pending transfers. 

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain under Transfers In Progress.
  3. In the Transfer Error box, click Dismiss.

You may need to refresh your browser for the failed domain to disappear.

Next steps

After the domain transfer is complete, you can:

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Transferring a domain to Squarespace